Govt, Opposition understanding

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BOTH the treasury and opposition benches have a very important role to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament whose main responsibility is to pass legislation that could bring ease in the people’s life. However, it is unfortunate that our Parliament, over the last one year or so, has not been able to perform much to the expectations of the masses as rumpus on various issues, time and again, mars the proceedings of both the Houses.
Friday, however, saw some positive development as both the government and the opposition parties decided to move forward on legislation with consensus. The opposition parties in the National Assembly announced withdrawal of a no-confidence-motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri after the government acquiesced to their demand for a review of the bills passed by the House a little over a week ago. This rare understanding came after extensive discussion between lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. The laws cleared by the Lower House in its 7 November sitting amidst protest by the opposition will now be tabled again for discussion and then passed with the support of the opposition. This, indeed, is the way forward and both the treasury and opposition benches need to show the same kind of spirit in future as well to make Parliament really functional. They need to demonstrate greater maturity and flexibility whilst rising above their political affiliations so that the main work of Parliament is not affected by petty political interests. Firstly, it is the responsibility of the government to take on board the opposition for the legislation it wants to bring on any important matter. In fact, there is the mechanism of Standing Committees which should be fully utilized for discussion and proper vetting of any piece of legislation. Then it is also for the opposition parties not to create unnecessary hindrance in the way of the legislation for political point scoring. Millions of rupees of the national exchequer go to the proceedings of Parliament and what the people of Pakistan expect from their parliamentarians is to use this forum competently and effectively not only to discuss their problems but also find ways and means to address them. A cohesive and collective approach will go a long way in making Parliament a strong institution in real terms.

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